Third Section

Third Section

Office created in 1826 by Tsar Nicholas I to conduct secret police operations.

Designed and headed (1826–44) by Count Aleksandr Benckendorff (1783–1844), it gathered information on political dissidents and banished suspected political criminals to remote regions. It collaborated with the Corps of Gendarmes (formed in 1836), a military force that operated throughout Russia, and with a network of spies and informers. The department grew increasingly repressive, and in the 1870s it arrested many Narodniks (Populists) who agitated among the peasantry. It was abolished in 1880, and its functions were transferred to the police of the interior ministry.

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Universalium. 2010.

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